Aw Fukuruku

I was laid off today.

My boss said he appreciated my work, and really didn’t want to but because of the economy, can’t afford to keep me anymore. He said that as soon as the deals I brought in closes and we have the contract for them, he’d bring me back but until then, he can’t keep me.

*pow* smack to the face
*bam* kick to the nuts
*ka-donk* boot in the ribs

Well, I think this is my 3…I hope its’ my 3rd. I can’t take much more, tag me out.

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HOCKEY HOCKEY HOCKEY!

When I was younger in my preteens I didn’t watch alot of TV. I’m probably one of the few guys that never watched the Transformers growing up (which I think eventually saved me alot of money seeing all the toys my autobot-obsessed friends buy) There’s a whole other story to that, but I’ll tell that another day. Growing up, my family had only ever had one television, which my dad was usually on for most of the evenings, watching chinese shows with my mom. My parents also didn’t ‘believe’ in television, something that today I’m grateful for. We were enrolled in piano, kumon, chinese school, judo, swimming. All things little Asian kids do! Don’t mess, we’ll karate kick your ass while playing the violin speaking in 4 different languages and drinking bubble tea.

One of the things we’d watch all the time though, was hockey. I’d remember that hockey was the only thing my dad would watch that my sister and I were interested in. Moreso than the chinese dramas which, while were funny in a ‘I-only-understand-every-second-sentence’ kind of way but was way too adult humor for my 10 year old mind. So when hockey was on, my sister and I would be in front of the tv, our only time with the elusive technology. The year Trevor Linden was drafted into his first season of the NHL, 1989, was the year we started watching hockey.

Fast forward 20 years, Linden has just retired. He will forever be remembered as Captain Vancouver, not for what he did for the Canucks on the ice, but for his off ice work. Lindens given so much back to our community, from the terminally ill children at Canuck Place to property development out in the Kits area, not to mention he was also President of the NHL Players Association, representing all the players to the owners and league commissioners. Sentimentally, my sister and I were at his retirement game. Seeing him years ago put on the Canucks sweater for the first time and now, seeing his banner lifted into the rafters put a tear to my eye. I love hockey.

So while being a fan of the game for so long, I’d just recently started playing the game. I tell ya, it’s not as easy as it looks. My post season dreams of carving down the ice, dipsy doodling the puck around all the defenders to score with a spin-o-rama backhand went crashing down as hard as I’d crashed down on the ice in my first game. I could barely stop and when I had the puck, I would panic and end up ass down on the ice. I even bravely attempted a slapshot, which I missed the puck completely and ended up face down, splayed out. Somehow in my mind, I’d pictured it all differently. A year and a half later, I can’t say I’m that much better at the game, but I can say that I’ve practiced my heart out, played every single week, took all the advice of the better players and I can at least stop now.

On my way, my boys decided to join me on this journey. So about 8 or 9 of us had never played before and started to dedicate ourselves to the art of ice hockey. I started to book ice times, and began organizing a recreational drop in night every second Friday. Since then, my excel spreadsheet has gone from 12 players to over 90 contacts and next month, our team, the HotShots, is heading into our first year of league hockey.


(Pic from the first ice time)

(Our Team a year later)

I want to own a piece of Vancouver and be able to positively influence the city that I live in…can I do it with hockey?

Working with several talented partners, who are also some of my closest friends, we will hopefully be able to realize that vision soon. The two-fold plan is to, one, have an online ecommerce portal for recreational ice hockey players in Vancouver to buy gear, meet, discuss, and research the sport and two, start our own full blown rec hockey league. The league will promote the site, and the site will promote the league each effectively piggy backing off one another towards being strong enough to influence the Vancouver rec hockey culture. Once that happens the plan is to quit my job, do this full time, and just play hockey all day long… =D

(LOL)

but until then, I’ll keep skating, keep practicing and if I’m able to come even 1% of what Linden did, I’m a happy man.

29 Year Cycle

Beginning at birth, there are successive periods of about seven years in a person’s life, each one a stage of important adjustments to reality. At about 7 years of age, the first quarter of the transiting Saturn cycle, the first crisis of maturity occurs and self-awareness takes form. At about ages 14 or 15, the change from child to adult occurs. About 21-22 years of age brings another adjustment to the demands of society. When Saturn completes its first cycle at about 29 years, people must come to terms with themselves and the society in which they live. This point in the cycle is called the Saturn return. It is almost always a time of important commitments, decisions, and the acceptance of responsibilities and changes of lifestyle.

I don’t remember much about my first Saturnism at age 7. I remember running around alot, doing my Kumon homework and playing the piano. At the second cycle of 14/15, that was the awkward time. I was coming out of my shell, previously sheltered and protected by my parents. All of a sudden I’d discovered girls! (I’d also discovered that they had no interest in me, a chubby, pimple faced Chinaman who didn’t wear the coolest clothes or say the smoothest things.) At age 14 was also when I realized I could be an athlete and so I did and I excelled at it and thus was my identity for 7 years.

21. Ahh, good ol’ 21. In hindsight now, looking back at the stage of the planets and moons and all that jazz, it makes sense. Or rather, it fits into the story nicely. I had not a worry in the world. The minute responsibilities of a recent university graduate who had every option of the world in front of him. I travelled in packs like hunting wolves, with 30 of my closest boys (not kidding…30…) with me everywhere we went. Big Bamboo, Hotshots, Hong Lok Yuen, No. 9, BP, everywhere. We had girls with us and because we were all gentlemen, they loved us. The weekends and weeknights were spent racing down the highways in our garage made rice rockets with the +10hp stickers, going from restaurant to pool hall to kareoke bar, laughing all the way. It was quite the change from my restricted popularity in high school, going from ugly duckling to swan (albiet a ruff gruff manly swan..argh!) We thought ourselves to be complete bad asses. Brotherhood, blood brothers, if one of us got into trouble, the other 29 would be there with a beep of the pager. (Only one of us had a cell phone so his bill was always the highest: hey Gurt, can I borrow your phone?) We were respected by our peers, looked up to by those younger. Guys wanted to hang out with us, girls wanted to get with us. (Or so that was our mentality, I mean, with a pimped out honda civic with stickers on the door and chopped springs so that you’d bottom out on every speed bump, who wouldn’t want to be with us!) We ruled the world. Those were the days when we had no worries (mortgage? bills? what are those things? responsiblities? ugh, kill the word.) We were in the middle, grown out of the childish restraints that society places on teenagers but not quite at adulthood status yet. We were armed with the positive outlook that our futures were still unwritten, that we could become anything we wanted to be and our destinies and fates were like a fresh jar of play-doh, soft and moldable.

7 years later. 29 years old. Commitments, decisions and responsibilites. Over the years my 30 man crew turned into a 4 man entourage. Our consecutive 4 night party days turned into once a month and the weight of adulthood comes crashing down hard onto our shoulders. How easy is it to manage your own life, while simultaneously attempting to balance those of your friends, family and colleagues? To try to make their lives fit into yours and not become a selfish hermit. Never in my 29 years of life have I faced such a daunting task and a more difficult year. I left my secure job of 3+ years due to changes out of my control. I ended a relationship of 5 years with a girl I loved with all my heart, though was no longer in-love. I bought a 2nd Condo before the market crashed and now am down on the investment. And now, my two best friends are moving away, one of them for good, one of them for 2 years. To those who think they’ve been knocked off of their comfort zone, I’ll join you in the parade. Hell, I’ll organize it. Change is good and it is what I need. This past several years, I’ve been too comfortable, too relaxed and my fire has died down a bit. I remember the ambition and drive I had when I was 21, and I felt alive and motivated. I want it back, and I’ll get it back. But for now, I just want to turn 30 in 4 months, and get 29 over with. This ‘Saturn Return’ cycle isn’t all it’s cracked out to be. The Play-doh’s been left out too long, long forgotten by the first hands that started to mold it. It’s become hard and stiff. Four months to go.

I Want to Own a Piece

I remember once a long time ago, in what is another life time now. I was 17 or 18 and I’d had just gotten used to driving my new car. It was brand new, off the lot and I was making payments on it. I owned it. I remember stopped at an intersection, and looking around me. I took in the stereo, I touched the door handle and caressed the seats. This was mine, I owned it. At that age, there wasn’t much I’d owned that wasn’t over $50, my kriss kross jeans were probably about $50. maybe my hypercolor shirt was up there, i can’t remember. Looking around, I felt a sense of pride, that I’d reached a man-milestone somewhere. That I’d started on the track of independance because I now had something to my name that the banks would consider an asset (even though it was a depreciating asset.) Of course by 17, I’m sure some African kid in a lost tribe somewhere was now a father of 4, had his own dirt hut by 13 and had collection of death spears and blow darts that he’d bought with his hard earned hyena fur. But for me, it was a first.

I felt the same way after I bought my first condo, the first night I’d slept over there, on the floor of my soon-to-be-but-not-quite-yet furnished room. I owned it. (well, not quite since the bank still owns about 70% of it. Mortgage literally means dead pledge. damn banks.)

I love Vancouver. I can confidently say that I am a Vancouverite for life. I want to own a piece of Vancouver. Not just property, or businesses, but the culture. I’d love to be able to shift Vancouvers culture in a positive way somehow, build this young city into something more. Inject new ways of life into the always (and not always good) relaxed paced of our sleepy, marijuana induced city. Lets start something. How people say to surround yourself with those smarter than you, I’ve lived that saying. I’m working with a few partners on some exciting things. I havn’t felt this way since I was editing film in University until 4 in the morning. It’s something I passionately enjoy and I hope it will one day soon start paying the bills too. That’s the dream isn’t it? Stay tooned. To love what you do and to do what you love with those you love. That’s the dream.

The Loss of a Brother

Nothing is forever. My brotha is moving. It was in the works for a while, that he would be offered a lateral move but with a raise. The catch was that he would have to relocate to Austin, Texas and become a team lead to the new crew that was just assembled down there. It was a great opportunity. He would work closely with the VP who was based in Austin and it would earn him accolades from his company. The raise was crap though, meager compared to the job at hand. At first, he had said he wouldn’t do it for under a certain number, and when they counter-offered him last weekend with the current bid, I didn’t think he would take it. But I guess nothing stays the same forever. The bid didn’t change, but Shins mind did.

When we were first introduced, it was not an amicable encounter. We’d went to different high schools, but in the same district and back in the 90’s there was only 3. We were rival high schools (How Riverdale-ish eh?) and the first time we’d met we were in opposing gangs, set for a fight. How 14 years later, he’s one of my best friends, my brother and roomate…there’s a story to tell. There’s a thousand stories to tell. Like all friendships, like all the people that you have around you, those that you care for and care for you. Your brother, your sister, mother, father. Your cousins, your best friends. There’s a thousand stories to tell for each of them, how you went camping every year. How you go for drinks after work. How you used to just cruise the streets. How you party on the weekends, and chill on the weekdays. There’s a thousand stories within the stories too, as I’m sure there are for each of you. How does it end? It ends with the disappearance. They’re no longer here. The stories will end there.

I’m at a loss of thought. I’m pulled in two directions. I’m happy for him that he’s moving on up. He’s an ambitious guy and said to me “I’m not happy with where I’m at in my personal life and it’s a big factor in me changing my mind.” He’s going to be a millionaire one day or die trying. I see that. This move will set him up nicely in the long run, but it means moving to Texas. He’ll have to fight the dragon if he’s going to get to the princess one day. On the other hand, I’m losing a brother. I respect Shin the most of all my friends. He’s always calm and never seems to be upset over anything. He’s also always had my back. When shit goes down, I can always count on Shin to be right behind me without even looking for him, that’s the kind of friend he is. And now I’m one down. It’s a selfish reason, but I don’t think anybody could not help but feel the way I do. My lifestyle as I know it is about to change, again. It’s only been 3 months since my last 8.0 richter scale lifestyle change* and my buddy moving equates to about an 8.4. I’d just recently stopped feeling the aftershocks from the first quake and now it’s like a Hiroshima style disruption.

He leaves June 1st. There are still 2+ months left to party it up, 2+ months left to make some crazy new stories. It’s funny, how life can change so quickly from one comfortable moment to the next, a not so familiar territory. I have to admit, I took the last 5 years for granted. The last 5 years held some of the best times in my life and as it was passing me by, I had taken alot for granted and let it slip away without thought, without ever thinking that one day it would halt. 2+ months.

*My girlfriend of 5 years and I called it a day. We seperated and she got custody of our dog.